How You Can Get a Loan With Bad Credit

Invest Without a lot of MoneyIf you have a credit score that doesn’t look too ideal due to financial problems, or if you’re struggling to build credit for the very first time, it can be quite challenging to get a loan.

What constitutes a bad credit? When you’re considered to have “bad credit”, there are a few reasons why this could have happened. You either have missed repayments in the past, errors on your credit report that you haven’t checked or you have bankruptcy against your name.

There is a huge difference between ‘bad credit’ and ‘no credit’. If you have no credit, this means that you haven’t taken out any form of loan ever, therefore you don’t have any credit history behind you.

Having bad credit doesn’t mean lenders will automatically close the doors on you but you might even be surprised that you have more options than you think. No credit or poor credit is an obstacle to getting a loan because you’re viewed as a high risk customer who might default and leave the lender hanging. It’s a fact that unless you raise your credit score, you won’t fit the standard lending guidelines that traditional big banks have to follow until then. Loans for people with bad credit is possible. The key is to make smart choices as a borrower and start on the path to rebuild your credit.

Here are several other alternatives you can consider, although they need to be carefully considered.

  1. Get a Peer to Peer Loan. Peer to peer lending or P2P has been around for over 10 years. It’s an online platform that allows you to borrow directly from an individual instead of an institution. This is growing in popularity because it’s a streamlined process that’s a win-win for borrowers who pay low interest rates and investors who earn high interest rates. Even though peer to peer lenders screen all applicants and check your credit, which then becomes a part of your loan listing, an investor may be more sympathetic to your situation than a traditional bank.
  1. Inquire about payday loans. This is one of the biggest ways to get cash quick even with bad credit. There are companies that operate online and there are also those that have physical establishments. Just choose which one suits best for you. These loans are easy to approve and do not cause any negative impact on the credit report. You do not need to have a credit check to even be approved for this type of loan however keep in mind that you must have the money in your checking account to cover the funds of this transaction.
  1. Consider a car title loan. If you have a vehicle that has been paid off, you can consider a loan on your car’s title. This type of loan works by giving on the value of your car and the lender will hold the title of the vehicle until the loan is paid in full. Don’t worry as you can still drive your car but the vehicle can’t be sold unless the lien is paid off.

These options are just to give you an idea and some options if you need quick cash. There are loans for people with bad credit.

How to Travel on a Budget: An Alternative Guide

world-1264062_640I have spent a great deal of time traveling in my life-time, and while I may not be the most frugal individual I have always been able to enjoy long and memorable trips to some of the world’s most stunning locations.

So how can this be the case? Quite simply, the answer lies in a willingness to think outside of the standard financial advice, and instead consider alternative steps towards reducing costs, building income and monetizing your travel experiences.

Alternative tips for traveling on a Budget (without impairing the experience)

Typically, saving and making money can be challenging for travelers. After all, they are hell-bent on enjoying the best possible experience on their trip, while earning cash is surely impossible if you traveling overseas and in far-flung locations? Technically speaking, however, all things are possible in the modern age, particularly of you have a smartphone, an Internet connection an agile mind.

Generating Income while on the Move 

In terms of making money, there are numerous ways to supplement your income as a traveller. As a writer, I particularly enjoyed blogging about my experiences, both on a personally hosted website and across other paid outlets. This delivered an invaluable income stream for little more than recording a journal, with the ad-revenue from my blog also extremely useful in creating additional spending money.

A friend of mine and former travel companion was also able to make money while visiting various places in Europe and Central America. Perhaps slightly unconventional for a traveller, he was an avid frequenter of virtual casinos, practicing online gambling at and a handful of other platforms. Of course, he had the experience and the strategic mind to optimize his winnings and generate income, but this is certainly an option for knowledgeable gamblers who are confident in their ability.

Saving Money and Experiencing the World

In truth, the key to making money on the move lies in leveraging technology to apply a particular skill. It is slightly different in the case of making money, where a number of options are available to travelers regardless of their age, experience or specific skill-set.

Take house-sitting, for example, through travelers get to see the world for free while staying in and safeguarding fellow adventurers’ homes. There was a famous example of this set by Canadian couple Darlene and Peter Heck, who established a website to facilitate this after saving more than $30,000 in accommodation costs by house-sitting their way around the world. You can also plan this advance by comparing adverts and sharing information with fellow travelers.

Similarly, wherever you go in the world there is always a demand for specific types of simple, unskilled labour. Those traveling to coastal locations in Spain and Portugal can always prolong their stay by bartering their time as bartenders or waiters, in exchange for accommodation and a place to lay your head. There are even work-exchange opportunities available through specific organizations, which open up multiple forms of labour and various locations across the globe.

So there you have it; a handful of ideas to help you generate income and save money while enjoying the traveling adventure of your lives!

Enjoying Our Summer, On the Cheap

wpid-20150615_161256.jpgThere seems to be this need to spend money come summer time. Take summer vacations, enroll the kids in 2568 different activities and camps, gardening and in general, stay super busy. Living in a climate where we do experience four seasons, I certainly understand wanting to soak up all that our few warms weeks seems to offer us, but it doesn’t have to mean dropping a few extra thousand dollars to do so. Over the years we have found plenty of fun ways to enjoy the summer months, without breaking the bank.


This is one of our favorite summer activities. I get that it’s not for everyone but we love it. If we stay relatively close to town we can get away for the whole weekend for less than $100 which includes camp fees, gas and food. We save money by packing our own groceries instead of doing a separate grocery store haul just for weekend food; instead of buying those overly expensive mini camping propane cans, we bring our big propane tank from our home BBq to use as fuel for our camp stove and lanterns and we usually pick campgrounds which are easily within an hour drive from where we live, which saves on travel.

We have a very well stocked camping gear collection which we have been accumulating since we were kids which definitely helps. If you’re new to camping and don’t have some basics like a tent, sleeping bags, or camp stove, then it can be quite expensive initially but since we have access to anything and everything we’d ever need, it’s usually a fun cheap family activity for us.

We’re Choosy With Kid Activities

I totally understand the desire to keep kids busy come summertime but it can get expensive, fast! The last two years our summer activity choice has been soccer. It’s a great activity and especially compared to other sports, it’s cheap. We paid $100 for Maria to play soccer this summer for 10 weeks. She plays twice per week and the $100 also included a jersey, shorts, socks and a soccer ball, all for her to keep. It’s a great price and a fantastic sport which she really enjoys playing.

Capitalize on Free

Pay attention to what’s free in your city. We have SO many free activities it can be overwhelming to choose. Through an initiative with our library system we will be able to get into all our provincial libraries for free this summer using our library card to download a museum pass- we will definitely be capitalizing on this!

There are many other fun, free activities which are always available. Spend a day at a beach, have a picnic, enjoy local free parks and playgrounds. Sometimes we can be so pre-occupied with other more expensive options for activities that we forget how fun simple things like a picnic and family walk can be.

Our summers are short and sweet, I don’t like the idea of too much extra spending in a two to three month span so we do what we can to limit costs. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the summer without breaking the bank.

How do you keep costs down when it comes to summer activities?

In Defense of Suburban Living

sunsetPeople seem to hate the suburbs. And I get their arguments. Paying more to live in the city usually means overall lower expenses; less in transportation, more free time with lower commute, and more amenities within walking distance. So why doesn’t everyone aim for that lifestyle? I certainly want more time with my family every day, and who wouldn’t love lower costs in any category? After all we did just buy a second car- arguably not necessary if we lived in the city. The honest truth though? Not everyone wants to live in the city. Here are some of the reasons why city life isn’t for me.

I Like Quite

The city I live in isn’t even that busy when compared to other major cities in the country, but it’s too much for me. I know because I work smack downtown every day so I get deal with it for eight hours a day. Come 5 o’clock though, I want to get out. I enjoy the option sitting on my deck in the summer evenings and hear absolute nothingness, in the daytime it’s a familiar buzz of lawnmowers and children playing. No cars. No yelling. No too-close neighbours. Just quite.

I Like My Yard

No one can argue that suburban living (especially in older neighbourhoods like mine) will have larger yards than those of a city. City living for some means forgoing a yard all together and I couldn’t do it, especially with a kid. There is something so nice about being able to sit, enjoy and play on your own little piece of land. My yard has gardens, trees which I’ve planted, a playhouse which my daughter loves to play in and a driveway that is always well decorated with chalk drawings. I’ve lived in an apartment, I know what it’s about and I didn’t like it. While some love the lack of maintenance, we get enjoyment out of maintaining our yard and would hate to give it up.

Lower Price Tag is Nice

If we moved to the city, for the same type of home and size of land we’re on now, we’d be looking at an easy 100k more. Not only is our mortgage less, our current property taxes are some of the lowest in the city, downtown (and surrounding area) it would probably be about double where what we’re paying now. Yes we have trade-offs (like the second car) but honestly it doesn’t bother me when we’re talking about at least a $700 per month difference in mortgage, property tax and home insurance. Our car is not costing us $700 more per month.

Not Everything Happens in the City

I currently work in the city but my husband does not. He actually works closer to our home and suburban living. Other than my job, we have no reason to come to the city and we’re perfectly happy with making our occasional trip in for a dinner out or hockey game. Everything we need can be found near our home in the ‘burbs. I would actually actively look for a new job closer to home, in the suburbs if the time was right.

Our lives happen in the suburbs. I would much rather be close to our friends and family than my job. Don’t get me wrong. I have days where I love the idea of walking out of the front doors of my office and walking home in about 10 minutes…but then I think about everything I would be giving up and suddenly my commute isn’t so bad.

Do you live in the city or the suburbs? Why?

Why Paying for Extracurricular Activities for My Child is Non-Negotiable

wp-1452556234373.jpgIt’s no secret that our main goal is to pay off our remaining non-mortgage debt. We’re pretty keen to get this done ASAP. Even with things like buying a second car this year, we’re still hoping to have another loan paid off by the end of the calendar year. I’m pretty proud of our progress in the last few years. We’re not perfect though. Far from it. We still have budget-busting moments and probably spend money on things others wouldn’t, but I feel like we’re in a pretty balanced place right now between debt progress and living life.

One area we bleed a lot of money is our kid. Really though, kids are not as expensive as some experts would have you believe but if all was the same and we didn’t have a child we’d have close to $800 more in our budget per month when you consider things like daycare and extracurricular activities.

Extracurricular activities is an area you could arguably find ways to cut if not eliminate, but for us, this is an area that is 100% non-negotiable.  Right now Maria plays both soccer and does ballet. Soccer is pretty cheap. Ballet, not so much. But she enjoys both so we won’t be asking her to stop anytime soon. It’s about so much more than money spent.

Yes we spend a small chunk of money for her to dance every week but we’ve seen a change in her that makes it worth every penny. Since she could sit unassisted, this kid could dance. She loves to move and when music is playing she is sure to be dancing her way around it. She asks all week if it’s time to see Miss Julia (her teacher) and if it’s ballet time yet. In the summer every time we drive past ‘’her field’’ she asks if she can play soccer yet.

While some may see that she’s just learning dance moves or how to play soccer, I argue it’s so much more. Paying for her to be involved in these activities has allowed her to learn so many more skills beyond the lessons each class.

This weekend was her final ballet recital (for the whole school). We had to be at the auditorium for 10:30am for a 12pm performance (their piece was about five minutes of the total show) where the kids then had to sit through for another two hour show. They’re four years old.

I was so skeptical about how long this day was and how they would behave but these kids were rock stars. They listened so well to their teachers, never having to be asked more than once. Took direction, payed attention and were more respectful than some of the parents in the audience. They pulled off a great performance doing exactly as instructed and I knew at that moment the class was worth it.

She is learning SO much more than just how to dance or play soccer. She’s learning about team work, respect, listening to her instructors and most importantly, confidence. So, for us taking out a little bit of money from our budget just so we can pay our debt off a little bit faster isn’t worth it when you weight these things out. Extracurricular activities are very important to us and our family, and will remain as a non-negotiable item for now.

How do you feel about extracurricular for kids? Are they important or a luxury expense that can be cut?

We’re Officially a Two Car Family Again

I’ve mentioned many times that we had every intention of buying a second car. When my husband (then boyfriend) and I were first together, we had two vehicles but since mine was a little old beater, when we moved into our first place together we decided to sell my car. Our new apartment only came with one parking spot included, and my husband’s Jetta was in much better shape.

Other than me getting to and from work we really didn’t need a second vehicle. So, I sold my ‘ol Corolla and relied totally on public transit and our one car. It’s worked pretty well for us (for seven years) until this point in our lives.

Like everything, changed happen. As we added a kid to our roster and our jobs, though the same ones we both had seven years ago, have changed a bit too. Mike’s job has him at a lot more job sites and traveling, and the kid is growing up and now has a demanding schedule of her own. The fact that I live 30-60 minutes from my job (depends on day and traffic) and rely on public transit just wasn’t cutting it anymore. We could officially no longer have me picked up at the depot by 6:15pm when kid has to be dressed at the soccer field at the same time. Given that we’ve made a conscious decision to live where we do (I totally understand and respect the city vs. suburbs argument), we’ve accepted that a second vehicle was now a must for us.

We’ve been actively looking for about six weeks. We wanted something reliable, no issues, up-to-date MVI and within our $6,000 budget. The $6,000 also had to include all extra stuff like registration and taxes. I really thought it would be easy but it really wasn’t. We were optimistic with one vehicle, a VW Passat which we went as far as paying a mechanic to have a good look over before taking negotiations any further only to find out it would need an entire new transmission…we walked away.

As frustrating as it was to pay the $50 only to find out the car was a lemon, it validated my need to pay a 3rd party professional mechanic to look over and purchase we were thinking of making. My husband knows basic car stuff like breaks, and fixing minor issues, but things like fixing a transmission is way out of our element, and likely an issue that would have gone undetected until it was too late had we purchased that car. $50 well worth it.

It took us about 10 more days, and literally hundreds of private and used car lot ads before we found the car we ended up buying. The car came within our budget (at the top end, but it was there). Brand new two-year MVI (which was again checked out by a mechanic), two brand new sets of decent tires and recently detailed (no one wants to buy a dirty used car). It was also at a used dealer lot which was convenient because it meant they could deal with all the taxes and DMV paperwork so we could avoid an extra step and it was in great shape.

We ended up buying a Nissan Sentra and we’re very happy so far. I learned to drive on a Nissan. My mom only gave her beloved Nissan up when my grandfather passed away and she was gifted his new Camry from my grandmother. It was time though, her Nissan had 320,000km on it and had lived a good life.

I wasn’t prepared for how exhausting it would be to look through so many cars. So far the car has been a happy addition. It’s much better on gas than our larger SUV/Crossover and will provide us with some much needed flexibility. The process of dealing with the used car dealership has also been really great. After we bought the car, even though it was just re-inspected days before, we noticed what ended up being a minor sensor issue. No questions asked, they ordered the new part from Nissan and will install it for free, all this after we bought, paid and drove home. In all honesty, of all the dealerships I’ve personally dealt with over the years they have been some of the most honest, down-to-earth and helpful people. No fancy suits, no over-the-top sales pitches, and genuine helpfulness. It was refreshing.

Have you bought a used car? How as the process?

Protecting Your Payoff Plans

pid life insuranceGetting into debt and then fighting your way back out of it is a long, difficult process. It requires persistence and patience, and a certain amount of predictability.

For example, you need a reasonable level of certainty about the cost of your daily expenses like insurance and utilities. You also need a predictable level of income, so that you’ll know what your starting point is for subtracting those expenses.

Stability is critical. You’ll carefully manage your thermostats, maintain short shower times, and economize your travel to save on gas.

Once you get a strong plan in place, it’s just a matter of time until that debt level hits zero and you’re back on track…unless the unpredictability of life disrupts your predictions.

People in such situations visit the law firm of Siegfried & Jensen every day, looking for legal representation as they work to bounce back from a bad hand that’s been dealt to them during their financial recovery.

Getting hurt on the job or by someone else’s recklessness is often completely beyond your control, yet it can quickly derail your plans to get your financial house in order. It’s a potentially disastrous interruption as you have scrimped, saved, and worked extra jobs to get ahead.

If this happens to you, respond appropriately so that you don’t let an outside force bring further problems.

Get Medical Attention Right Away

Key to recovering any kind of damages is the immediate documentation of your medical condition. Many injuries seem very minor at first, and the injured person will shrug off medical care. Later, the injuries become more serious, leaving the person unable to work–and losing money.

You must see a doctor as soon as possible. Explain to him or her all of your complaints, no matter how minor. If things become worse later on, there will be evidence that you did have some degree of injury at the time of the incident.

Any delay could erode your case. Let’s say that you are injured on a Saturday, but you wait until Monday to see your family doctor instead of fighting a Saturday night ER crowd. All the defendant’s attorney has to do is say that you may have suffered the injuries on that intervening Sunday, and your case will be shot. Just as you must get a full report on the damage to a vehicle after a crash, you need a comprehensive look at your injuries as well.

Get Representation

Most insurers want to settle claims quickly and avoid litigation. They know that they will be off the hook a lot sooner and for a lot less money if they can achieve that goal. The first step they’ll take to get there is to try to deal directly with you. They are banking on your lack of experience and knowledge about the law, in hopes of getting you to settle for less than you may deserve.

And many people make the mistake of accepting such an offer, feeling that they want to get the money sooner and be done with the whole business rather than prolonging it or risking the stigma of being a whiplash plaintiff.

The fact of the matter, of course, is that you and your medical team know that your injury is significant and legitimate, and that’s all that really matters.

Be Absolutely, Positively Sure You Can Go Back To Work

There’s only so much time off that we can stand. As a result, many injured people will hobble or limp back to work as soon as they can tolerate it at all, ready to get back in the routine.

This can be a mistake. If you aren’t absolutely sure, in the opinions of your doctor and yourself, that you can go back to work and stay back at work, you need to wait.

Many benefits will end as soon as you are back on the job. If you return prematurely and end up re-injuring yourself or simply finding out you weren’t ready, you may struggle to get the same financial benefits you would have had if you had never returned to begin with.

The first step toward rescuing yourself from debt is acknowledging that you’ve gotten yourself into the mess. Once you’ve done that, you will be able to take responsibility and move forward.

But when someone else has caused an injury that will deny you the income you’re counting on for your recovery, they need to acknowledge responsibility too. If you handle the situation correctly, they will.

All Credit Cards Are Not Created Equal

-1It happens sometimes without you even noticing. You want to improve or establish credit so you apply for a credit card. Then you apply for another one. Until you have 2, 3, 4 or maybe even 6 cards in your wallet. But are you using the system to your advantage? All credit cards are not the same. Some have a higher interest rate, some offer cash back incentives while others offer incentives like 0% interest for the first six months with 0% balance transfers. The latter is a great way to transfer debt from one card to another to avoid the interest. This only works if you pay the debt off before the six months is up.

Having credit cards allows you to use your good credit score to buy and pay for things without having the cash in hand. You’re responsible, and use them correctly, but somehow your credit score takes a hit. Or, perhaps you had a temporary setback and missed a payment or two and now you’re back on track. You decide you’re going to close out an account you don’t need but your credit score still suffers.

There’s a fine line between having too much and too little credit. If you’re planning on buying a home or a large ticket item such as a car in the future, having a good credit score matters. You may decide to close out an account that you don’t need but this isn’t always the best option. The reason is that bad credit stays on your report longer than good credit. And, if you close an account in good standing it’s likely to disappear before the card that had a few missed payments. While you need credit to show you are responsible, the opposite can happen if you have access to too much credit regardless of the balance. To keep your score in check, it’s best to keep the cards open until after you apply for your loan. Most people have a period of time with imperfections. The best way to handle this is to continue to pay the card on time and re-establish your credit standing. This way when you apply for your loan a lender can see that the period of time was short and that you are now current.

The problem some people run into is that they begin to use their credit cards for daily purchases. They stop for a coffee, buy lunch and before you know it the card reaches its limit. This is ok if you pay the bill in full each month. But, for many this is not an option. It’s a trap that’s easy to fall into and difficult to climb out of. It’s never a good idea to rely on your cards as a source of income. If this is the case, it’s best to sit down and review your finances to see where you can cut expenses. The sooner you remove your dependency on your credit cards, the better off you will be. The interest alone on some of the credit cards can have you paying double for items or more.

Instead, develop a system where you save for luxury items. Hold off on buying a new car until you have the money to pay for it. Once you get into this practice you will only pay what the item costs instead of years of inflated payments that stretch your budget.

A Look at Why I Love CIBC’s New Smart Account

The following is a sponsored post from CIBC. All opinions are mine.

cibc smart

I’ve banked with many banks in my life. From credit unions to online-only banks, I’ve tried them all. It wasn’t until we went to a mortgage broker when we were buying our house a few years ago that I had any connection to CIBC. Long story short they offered us the best rate and over the next few years we went from having a mortgage to switching everything over to them because they were so great to deal with. Features like the new CIBC Smart™ Account are one reason why we continue to bank with them today.

Additional Bank Fees SUCK.

There are a number of reasons why we enjoy banking with a traditional ‘’brick and mortar’’ bank (over online-only bank) but we still enjoy using a lot of online features our traditional bank offers. In particular we seem to send a lot of Interac e-Transfers which, at the end of the month, can really add up in additional fees. We had one month where we sent almost 20 Interac e-Transfers and had to pay quite a bit in additional fees. We’ve accepted we’ll have monthly account fees with a traditional bank, and we’re happy to pay them, but no one likes extra bank fees. With CIBC’s new Smart Account, we no longer have to worry about things like Interac e-Transfer fees. This is one great feature of the new account system.

A Look at CIBC’s New Smart Account

How this new account works is quite simple. A CIBC representative told me that the CIBC Smart Account monthly fee starts at just $4.95 for up to 12 transactions and caps at $14.95 for unlimited everyday banking transactions, which now includes Interac e-Transfers. This account is the first of its kind to offer unlimited Interac e-Transfers. The monthly fees may also be waived if a minimum daily balance of $3,000 is maintained and if you have a recurring direct deposit or two pre-authorized payments each month.

For us this is actually a huge help considering the sheer volume of Interac e-Transfers we send. Last month I was involved in an important local fundraiser which involved sending small $5.00 e-transfers to the host upwards of twice a week. It was so nice to not have to think about the $1.50 every time, especially for such a small amount.

Before CIBC came out with its new Smart Account, there have definitely been times where I have been late paying someone back because I would rather use cash and avoid the fee. This can be super embarrassing sometimes but whenever I had used our ‘’two free e-transfers per month’’ (a feature we had in our old account) I hated sending money knowing we’d have an additional fee associated.

I’m a big fan of this new Smart Account setup. We definitely have months where we use our bank account quite a bit and other months when it seems we do nothing but allow the auto-withdraws to come out with very little additional activity. I’m now assured I’ll only ever pay for the volume of transactions I use that month and not a generic one-size-fits-all fee. For reasons like this we’ll continue to bank with CIBC.

For additional information please check out